20th Anniversary Gala

On Saturday, March 25, 2017, during this year’s tenth international symposium on Buddhist Studies, RYI will host a gala event to celebrate twenty years of offering students the chance to deepen their understanding of Buddhist philosophy, languages, and practice. The event will begin soon after Saturday’s final talk, with canapés and a cash bar on the patio outside the ballroom, and will feature entertainment from RYI student Chloé van der Lek, faculty member Miguel Sawaya, and friends from the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory. This should be an excellent chance to meet and talk with the symposium speakers and other attendees. 

After the performance, a three-course sit-down dinner will be served in the ballroom featuring a main course of either wood-fired spring chicken in a mustard and herb sauce or roasted pumpkin ricotta tortellini in saffron cream. During dinner, a special video and slideshow will be presented and Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche and others will comment on RYI’s twenty-year history. 

RYI faculty and staff look forward to sharing this special event with all of you. Alumni, donors, current students, and others connected with RYI and Rinpoche’s activities are the reason RYI has reached this significant milestone. Given the global and transnational nature of RYI’s community, the opportunity to celebrate together is rare. We hope everyone who feels a connection with RYI, past, present, or future, will join us for this evening of reflection and gratitude. 

In 1997, Rangjung Yeshe Institute began offering classes to those interested in the study and practice of Buddhism. Initially, students spent four months each year attending classes to develop and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the major philosophical texts of the Nyingma tradition. Classes were small, with khenpos teaching texts from Shantideva and Gampopa with the support of skilled English translators. These classes were some of the first opportunities for Westerners and local lay people to study directly with monastic scholars trained in depth in Buddhist philosophy. Students also studied Tibetan language, learning both to read the traditional texts and speak to Tibetans in the community.


After running courses successfully for five years, RYI, through an agreement with Kathmandu University, incorporated the Centre for Buddhist Studies in 2001. Students could now earn academic credit and an internationally recognized Bachelor’s degree by studying year-round. The BA program added an emphasis on the study of the modern academic perspective with the aim to help students mature as scholar-practitioners.The inaugural class graduated in 2005, paving the way for others to follow. And indeed they have! The number of programs has expanded to twelve, while continuing RYI’s emphasis on academic rigor and student satisfaction. Currently, there are more than 200 students on campus each year from over thirty countries and RYI’s diverse alumni base comprises over 1,300 former students.

Semi-formal attire is requested for this event. Please consider dressing as you would for Tibetan new year celebrations, an empowerment, or another special event you may attend in Nepal.

Tickets for this event can be purchased at the RYI office or on Saturday, March 25, at the registration desk. Tickets are limited, so reserve yours in advance!

Reserve Gala Tickets